The Kacheek Club: An Anniversary Adventure: Part Two
Bridgette took a deep breath as she spun around to face the class with her arms full of textbooks. It didn't matter that her insides felt like mounds of Strawberry Trifle. Whatever the cost, she knew she had to keep up the 'fake confidence' act if she wanted to prove Gwen and her first-day-of-school predictions wrong.
"All right, Bridgette. Now that you've got your textbooks, you can take a seat anywhere you like in the classroom. Just sit wherever you feel comfortable, okay?" Ms. Julie smiled warmly at her.
"Okay." Bridgette beamed before turning to survey the classroom for a good desk to sit at. Since class was almost about to start and most of her classmates had already arrived, there were only two desks that were unoccupied. The first one was in front of a snot Grundo who was in the middle of having a sneezing fit. His desk was littered with used tissues. Not in the mood to catch the Grundo's cold, Bridgette turned to the only available desk... which was right next to Gwen.
Bridgette sighed reluctantly as she dragged her Fire Faerie Backpack toward the desk next to Gwen. "Mind if I sit here?" she asked halfheartedly.
Before Gwen could even open her mouth, a cloud Kacheek sitting behind her spoke up. "Not at all!"
As Bridgette sat down at the desk, she could still feel the cloud Kacheek's eyes on her. Turning around, her suspicions were proved correct.
Sarina was smiling cheerfully at Bridgette, her round eyes shimmering with the excitement of having a new classmate. "Himyname'sSarinait'sgreattomeetyouwannabefriends?" She inhaled deeply and continued, "You'regonnahavesomuchfunherebecauseeveryoneis-"
Bridgette crinkled her eyebrows. "Huh?" From the corner of her eye, she saw Gwen smirk.
Sarina took another deep breath and just said simply, "My name's Sarina."
Bridgette was about to respond, but then Ms. Julie started class. The faerie Kacheek was determined to find out as much as she could about her new classmates. After Ms. Julie finished teaching the history, science, and math lessons, Bridgette had compiled a few facts in her mind about three of her classmates.
She knew for certain that Xana the disco Kacheek was by far the most intelligent pet in the class. When Ms. Julie had called Xana and a Darigan Ixi up to the chalkboard to have an arithmetic race, Xana had whizzed through all of the division problems before her opponent had even picked up the piece of chalk.
Bridgette also figured out that Gwen was an intermediate student, just like herself. They both had to work out the math problems on separate pieces of scrap paper before they wrote their final answers down on the worksheet. In history, Bridgette was surprised to find that Gwen had also finished the pop quiz in a breeze just like her, with the exception of the essay question at the end. During science, the two Kacheeks had both had trouble focusing their microscopes until Xana came over and helped them.
The last classmate that Bridgette took note of was Sarina. By the end of the three lessons, Bridgette concluded that Sarina was quirky, a tad bit wacky, and the only Neopet in the class to believe in Jelly World. Sometimes Bridgette found herself wondering if Sarina saw the same things that the rest of the class saw.
Finally, after what seemed like forever, Ms. Julie announced that it was lunchtime. Bridgette bit her lip uncertainly as she stuffed her papers inside her Sparkling Faerie Notebook. All day long, she had been secretly obsessing over whom she would sit with at lunch. She knew that she only had two options. She would either have to get the guts to ask someone if she could join them for lunch, or she would end up eating lunch alone at an empty table. The third option, which was to conveniently disappear from the cafeteria and eat her food in the janitor's closet, was reserved for emergencies only. ***
Gwen's stomach growled loudly as she waited in line to buy a bottle of Stramberry Juice from the Neocola machine in the cafeteria. She, along with the rest of the pets waiting in line behind her, were all anxious to buy their drinks and dig into their lunches. However, the line hadn't moved forward for the past five minutes.
"What is taking so long?" demanded Gwen. She temporarily stepped out of her place in line to see who was currently using the Neocola machine. The minute she saw who it was, she instantly knew she should have guessed -- it was Bridgette.
The faerie Kacheek was desperately trying to insert her five hundred Neopoints into the machine. Every time she got the Neopoints in, the coins would simply shoot out of the slot. Gwen knew that Bridgette was fully aware of the growing impatience of the pets in line behind her.
Gwen sighed and made her way to where Bridgette was standing. Bridgette didn't look up as Gwen approached her.
"Hey, you know that we're all getting really thirsty back there, don't you?" asked Gwen.
"I'm trying the best that I can, okay?" Bridgette looked annoyed as the machine refused her Neopoints once again. "But this machine doesn't feel like cooperating."
Gwen sighed and placed her lunch tray on the ground. "If this wasn't your first day eating in the cafeteria, you would have known that the machine never works... unless you do this." She took Bridgette's Neopoints and quickly thrust them into the machine. Then she kicked the left side of the Neocola machine twice before lightly tapping the right side. "Okay, that should do it."
Bridgette cautiously stepped up to the machine again and pressed the Cherry Neocola button. Out came a dented can of Diet Neocola. "Man, the machine gave me Diet Neocola instead of Cherry," Bridgette complained to no one in particular.
"Well, maybe the Neocola machine's trying to tell you something!" an angry Tyrannian Elephante called from her fifth place in line.
Bridgette looked embarrassed as she and Gwen walked toward the cafeteria tables. "Well, that didn't go so well," she mumbled.
"Don't take that Elephante's comment personally. All of us usually get irritated when we get dehydrated," Gwen explained.
Bridgette plopped her tray of Lemint Green Salad on an empty cafeteria table. "Anyway, thanks for teaching me how to get my Neopoints into the machine."
To Bridgette's surprise, Gwen dropped her lunch tray on the table and sat down with Bridgette. The faerie Kacheek had expected Gwen to go and join one of her other friends' tables. "No problem," Gwen replied. She spit out her wad of Air Faerie Gum into a napkin before taking a giant bite of her Sakhmetian Grape Sandwich.
Bridgette unrolled her fork and spoon from inside her napkin. "So, what gives? Why did you help me today at the Neocola machine? I thought we were supposed to dislike each other like yesterday."
"Well, let's just say I had a change of heart." Gwen grinned at Bridgette's look of disbelief. "Okay, okay. I helped you today because my mom told me to. She said that I should help you learn the ropes because you're new and everything."
"You must be annoyed that you have to help me out." Bridgette opened her can of Diet Neocola. Her mouth dropped open in surprise as a geyser of soda flew out of the can and drenched the front of her Heart Thermal Shirt.
Gwen slapped her paw over her mouth to keep from laughing out loud. "Erm, it isn't really as annoying as I thought it'd be," she said. She watched as Bridgette hopelessly dabbed a napkin on her brand-new shirt. Gwen sighed and picked up her lunch tray. "Listen, I had some trouble deciding on my outfit this morning, so I brought an extra set of clothes in my backpack in case I changed my mind. You can wear the School Girl Shirt in my backpack for today so that you don't have to wear that sticky thermal shirt."
Bridgette smiled gratefully at Gwen before the two Kacheeks disposed of their lunch trays and headed upstairs.***
Xana the disco Kacheek held her oversized green glasses in place as she hurriedly dashed up the stairs to the classroom. She had completely forgotten that Ms. Julie had assigned her the job of feeding Pollie, the resident classroom Antwerph, this week. Xana knew that the worst thing that could happen was that she would run into the classroom to find Pollie staring dejectedly at her from inside the glass Petpet cage. But when she arrived at the classroom, she saw that the outcome was much, much worse.
Xana peeked into the doorway of the classroom, her eyes as wide as Pumpkin-filled Doughnuts. From her view, she saw Sarina stealthily place Pollie inside the Wooden Petpet Crate she had somehow managed to squish inside her Hasee Backpack.
"I hope this is the right thing to do," she heard Sarina murmur.
"Stop in the name of science!" Xana summoned up her courage and stepped inside the classroom with her right paw thrust out. "Sarina, I demand that you tell me what's happening right now."
Sarina looked up in alarm. "I-I can explain," she stammered.
To be continued...